Really Microsoft, are U kidding me ?

Recently I received this link to a guide on when to use which Office 365 product. When you read it through and you heard already about the questions and frustrations raised by several end users about the product, you think by yourself “Are U kidding me ?”

For those who are not already aware about the above mentionned frustrations, these are a few highlights about those frustrations:

frustrations

I hear a lot of people say that Sharepoint is a good place to hide documents because you never find them back when you need them.

Ever heard about IBM Connections Social Cloud ? Well, at IBM they understand that social collaboration needs to be people-centric and not document-centric. That it needs to be user-driven and thus easy to adopt because it is all about the customer experience.

user-experience

When users need help of their IT department to get a Sharepoint Site up and running, they will have it when it isn’t needed anymore. This way, business users start looking around for other solutions…..and shadow IT is born.

One of the big differences between Microsoft and IBM is the way how documents are stored in the Collaborative Platform. In a Microsoft world, you have different silo’s where you can store documents

silos

where in an IBM world, the different components of the platform are nicely connected with one another and are based on only one document store.

central-sharing

This is only one of the top differentiators between the two platforms, come back later on to discover more of them.

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Social Connections session about SSO

Hello

thursdayt I had my session about SSO between your on-premise environment and IBM Connections Cloud.
I talked about SAML, ADFS and the different possibilities that are available to configure SSO in IBM Connections Cloud.
If you were in my session or not and want to review the slides, go and check out this URL where you can find my slides

https://socialconnections.info/sessions/open-doors-cloud-using-sso-methodologies-organisation-ibm/

Go and check out the rest of the slides that will be published on the site when they are available

https://socialconnections.info/11-agenda/

I enjoyed the conference a lot and it was again nice to meet up with some new people and have interesting discussions.

During closing session, the team announced that Social Connections 11 will be held in Europe. Prepare already an interesting abstract to submit and keep an eye on the upcoming announcement about the dates.

IBM too expensive for your wallet ? Are you kidding me ?

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In my role as storyteller and enthousiast about #NewWayToWork, I present at different locations and talk about the differences between social media and social business. During my presentations, I also spend time talking about how social media influences our way of working and engaging and how this change affects our way of working at the office.

During my presentations I like the interaction with the audience and throw from time to time a question in the room to get some feedback. One of my questions before talking about IBM Connections is the following:

“What comes up in your mind when I say: IBM ?”

In most of the cases, I get the same responses back. Responses which I like to share with you so that we can demistify some myths.

Here’s the list:

  • Mainframe, hardware
  • Too expensive for our budgets
  • Only for big companies, we are just small businesses

Most of them don’t know that IBM has affordable software to transform and help your business to become a social business.

Most of them don’t know that IBM’s software is a real integrated and open platform, not like other vendors pretend to be. With the help of the intuitive interface, users adopt easily the way of working and they don’t have to care about where to store their data they want to share since there is only one place to put data from where your start sharing. This is not like in other products where you don’t know in which silo you need to put your data.

Just check out the video and afterwards visit this site to convince yourself about price and possibilities.

IBM Connections 6 knocking on the front door !

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Hello there !

Is I wrote already in a previous post, the road to Connections Pink is through IBM Connections 6. Today IBM announced the official release of IBM Connections 6. The full story can be read here

IBM Connections 6 is the last version running IBM Websphere, DB2 and all that stuff. We gradually go to a newer version based on micro-services and containers and where development is done in new development technologies.

Connections 6 has major improvements on the homepage with Orient Me, provides much more flexibility for Community Owners to change the layout and even create a template of the layout to reuse it for other Communities.

Connections 6 is an adoption driven update that provides user-friendly guidelines to get on board and get started !

General availability to download the update will be on friday,  March 31

 

IBM-Connections-6-summary

Connect 2017

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A lot of changes this year at Connect, my first time as an IBM Champion, a complete new location in a complete different state, California, and a different city, San Francisco.

This year the venue was the Moscone West Center

For me personally, the venue was not as good as in the past. You didn’t have the possibility to run into someone, grab a seat and have a conversation. Last year we had the possibility to go out in a kind of a garden, now we were in the centre of the city.

When everybody is staying in several different hotels, it’s much more difficult to meet up as when everybody is in the same hotel and having a drink in the hotel’s bar 🙂

But enough about that, part of the above, I had some nice conversations and meetings with interesting people !

I attended a lot of interesting sessions and noticed that IBM is changing its mindset and it is about time that we kick some ass and battle against Microsoft !

Let’s talk first about Domino.

For all of you that think that there is no future anymore for your Domino applications that are present in your company for years…sit back and read further on.

Do you know any other platform that comes out of the box with the following features ?

  • Security
  • Replication
  • Clustering
  • Encryption
  • Ability to go offline
  • Open to other platforms
  • Ability to develop and customize

IBM will enhance its current API framework (Mail, Calendar, Freebusy, Data) to extend capabilities and enable the use of modern application development tools (ex. Swagger)

The additional REST services that will be added to expose more powerful capabilities are

  • Directory Service: browse or search a directory
  • Contacts Service: manage personal contacts in your mailfile
  • Mail Search Service: search your mailfile
  • Subscription Service: poll for changes or register for push in an application
  • Management Service: register users and manage users & groups

Thanks to the openNTF community there is a project available, SmartNSF, that allows access to your Domino applications via REST APIs. It’s available as an extension for your Domino Server and Designer.

For customers that are defining a path for their Domino applications, it is interesting to know that in Q2 2017, Panagenda’s Application Insights will be released.

Application Insights will be free of charge for customers under S&S and will allow you to analyse the 50 most used applications based on

  • Application usage
  • Application complexity
  • Application code

If you have more than 50 applications, then you can by an extra license.

On Wednesday, there was Pink Wednesday. IBM Connections Pink is about a new revolutionary product. Pink is a journey, not a destination.

Jason Gary stated the following “We are not going to build Software for You, we gonna build Software WITH you”.

This means that Pink will be based on open standards and you will have the ability to customize as much as you want without having to lose your work thanks to the new Muse Proxy.

With Pink you will have the choice where you want to store your data, you can have for example all of your files in the cloud and the profiles on premise. The different applications will run in Docker containers, this will allow you to install updates of the different components individually without disturbing another component.

Recently there was a OpenMic WebCast about Connections Pink, you can find all info in here

Gradually we will see the impact of Pink crawling into Connections 6 as new features:

  • Orient Me: the homepage that knows you
  • Modern Communities: allows to modernize the look & feel and to copy the design as a template to create a new community
  • OnBoarding experience: a guided tour that allows new users to get started and get involved much easier through suggested lists of users and communities

IBM Watson Workspace was present everywhere at IBM Connect, there is a tight integration between Watson Workspace and the rest of the Collaboration Stack. During OGS I saw interactions between IBM Verse and Watson Workspace , where you can share a received email in a space so that the ones where you work with in the space are notified and you can start discussing or even start working on a shared document that you get from your Connections platform…

The integration of bots in spaces allows to have nice integrations and acces to all sorts of data coming for instance from your CRM application.

To wrap up I also want to mention that they showed something brand new that is still growing in the labs, IBM Livegrid. Livegrid is the new IBM Application Development platform for IBM Connections. It promises to be something really cool, they showed us a demo where a spreadsheet upload was transformed in a nice looking application in just a few clicks !

So, as you can see, a lot is going on and lot is coming in 2017. Open your eyes and ears in the coming months and enjoy this rollercoaster trip together with us.

Project Toscana named IBM Workspace

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Last year at IBM Connect, they announced a new revolutionary project, called Project Toscana. Now, a few months later at World of Watson they announced the progress they made in the project and since it is now in a closed pilot phase, they renamed it to IBM Watson Workspace as the official brand name of the product.

IBM Watson Workspace is an environment where you can create spaces, within a space you can invite team members and start having conversations around a certain topic/project.
The cool thing about those spaces is that conversations can continue when you leave. When you come back in, you can pick up the conversations where you left off.
You can work on files and other content. Share files in a space, paste images or animated gifs.
Recently they’ve added the “Launch moments” feature into spaces. This feature allows you summarize the conversations in condensed moments so that you can easily have an overview of the ongoing discussions during the period you left off.

watson-workspace

Now, why has it Watson in it’s name ? Well, IBM Watson Workspace is an application built on top of a new platform, IBM Watson Work Services. This platform offers the possibility to use cognitive API’s and cognitive services that understand conversations.

With its cognitive features and the ability to interact with a bunch of other apps, you can work more easily and work the way you want.
There are a lot of integrations with apps possible but you can extend this by integrating your own developed apps.
This platform allows you to create bots, webhooks,….written in the language of your preference, whether it is Node.js, Python or Javascript.

watson-work-services

Interested to know more about this new product ? Go and have a look at http://workspace.ibm.com and look at the Help & Forums link you find at the right side.

Are you interested to know more about the integration of apps or about the development of apps, then you can go to the Developer section of Watson Work Services at http://developer.watsonwork.ibm.com

There are already a set of examples available to download and to reuse so that you can integrate them into your own spaces and play around with them. Hereby an overview

http://github.com/watsonwork
http://github.com/van-ibm
http://github.com/opencode4workspace

Interested to know how you can start developing and integrating the apps into your workspace, go and have a look at this replay https://ibm.ent.box.com/s/sxe0cld7ciysc020nb4sely01be4d4bk where the process is very well explained.

Evolution of Cisco in IBM Products

It’s been a while now that IBM and Cisco announced their partnership under the theme “Partnering to Redefine Work”.

In the meantime, messages have been passed and some online meetings were held in WebEX to get used to the products.

The message here is that, you as a customer, will have the choice to integrate Jabber and WebEX in your IBM Connections Cloud environment or go further with IBM Sametime chat and meetings.

As of December 2016, some of the first integrations of the Cisco Products will be available

  • One click to get from Connections Cloud to WebEx dashboard
  • Add a WebEx meeting as a default meeting in my IBM Verse calendar invites
  • Easily join a WebEx meeting from Verse
  • Join a Jabber chat from Connections Cloud or Verse Navigation bar, or the Connections Cloud Business Card
  • Share a Connections Files Cloud document from a WebEx mobile meeting

Here a screenshot of Jabber chat in IBM Connections

jabber-connections

Share a Connections Cloud file from WebEX Mobile

share-webex-mobile

 

Engage 2017 – A Room with a Zoo

During the latest Engage event, October 27th, we were happily surprised at the end with the announcement of the venue of the next major event that will take place the 8th and 9th May 2017.

The event will take place in the completely renovated Elisabeth Center in Antwerp, next to the zoo and the Central Station.

It’s a brilliant location, easily reachable from anywhere and there are a lot of hotels in the neighbourhood.

It promises to be an awesome event with sessions around the following topics:

Business & Strategy – Development – Administration & Deployment – Emerging Technologies – Big Data & Analytics.

 

More information about the venue, the event itself and the registration form, can be found at the site http://engage.ug/

If you missed the last Engage event, then you still have the possibility to view the U-Stream recording that was made during the session.

IMSMO ? IBM mail support for MS Outlook aka Outlook native access to a Domino Server

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, it’s IBM’s vision to provide an open Client strategy, one of those clients is certainly MS Outlook.

open-client

A lot of the customers are moving to O365 because they like the Outlook client, unfortunately they don’t think about the effort to migrate and not to mention the financial effort.

In a lot of cases I’m wondering if the juice is worth the effort of squeezing   🙂 They think by moving away they will save money, but with all struggles they encounter during the project, it results in more money being spent or wasted then being saved.

IBM mail support for MS Outlook helps IBM Notes/Domino customers create more engaged employees, avoid rip-and-replace costs and preserves value of existing IT, by allowing users to decide which email client works best for them, Outlook or Notes and this against their existing, powerful and reliable Domino Server.

Who’s entitled to use IMSMO ?

This is a rather simple question, every customer who has valid Domino CAL’s or Collaboration Express licenses.Dual Entitlement customers and Connections Cloud S1 or SmartCloud Notes customers have also the right to connect with MS Outlook to a Domino Server.

Supported versions of Outlook are 2010, 2013 and 2016. Currently there is only support for the Windows versions but Outlook for Mac and Apple Mail are under investigation.

The most current version is IMSMO 2.0 Fix Pack 2, you can find the information here:

https://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg21989448

What are the capabilities of the client ?

Outlook capabilities that are available in an Outlook/Exchange world are also possible in an Outlook/Domino world. Hereby a summary of the capabilities:

Mail Calendar Client-wide
–  Compose

–  Send/Receive

–  Draft sync

–  Quota indication

–  Summary Sync

–  Folder support

– Notes encryption

– Free/busy lookup

– Room finder

–  Search

–  Automatic client updates

–  Automatic Send/Receive on network connection

–  Offline support

–  OoO Support

If you install IMSMO on premise, you need to think about the following guidelines before you get started with the installation:

  • Domino 9.0.1 or higher and ID Vault are required
  • Outlook users must have a replica on the IMSMO servers or you can install IMSMO on the mail server in a small deployment
  • You can’t mix Notes Traveler and IMSMO on the same Domino Server
  • Use DB2 to store the sync data or when you want to provide HA, in a small environment you can use the internal derby database
  • Use a proper SSL Certificate instead of self-signed one

As you can see on this slide, IBM decided to use SyncML instead of Exchange ActiveSync because it gives more control over the connection and functionality.

imsmo-diagram

Here you can find some extra IMSMO slides

http://www.slideshare.net/sreeJk/open-mic-imsmo-for-scn-24th-aug-2016

If you want to know more about the administration, check this guide